Title page for ETD etd-05042006-164544

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Feth, Shari
URN etd-05042006-164544
Title A study of the promolecule radius of nitrides, oxides and sulfides and of the bond critical point properties of the electron density distribution in nitrides
Degree PhD
Department Materials Engineering and Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Gibbs, Gerald V. Committee Chair
Boisen, Monte B. Jr. Committee Member
Claus, Richard O. Committee Member
Gordon, Ronald S. Committee Member
Hirschfeld, Deidre A. Committee Member
Hochella, Michael F. Jr. Committee Member
  • laplacian
  • electronegatively
  • promolecule radii
  • Electron density distribution
  • bond critical point properties
Date of Defense 1996-12-05
Availability restricted

"We cannot afford the luxury any longer of ignoring the nature of the bonding in these interesting compounds .... " P.E.D. Morgan, (1974). An understanding of bonding is paramount to furthering our understanding of materials (Morgan, 1974). ~he properties of materials are governed by the interactions between atoms. These interactions are governed by the nature of the bonds. In this study, two methods are explored which provide insight into chemical interactions. First, pro molecule radii, calculated for nitride, oxide, and sulfide coordinated polyhedra with bond lengths fixed at the sums of effective ionic and crystal radii, are analyzed. Radii calculated for transition and non-transition cations for the first four rows of the periodic table are highly correlated with crystal radii derived for oxide and sulfide crystals and with ionic radii derived for nitride crystals. Promolecule radii calculated for the coordination polyhedra match experimentally determined bonded radii to within ~ 0.02 A, on average. Calculated radii anions tend to match ionic radii when bonded to highly electropositive cations and atomic radii when bonded to highly electronegative cations.

In the second study, molecular orbital calculations were completed on a series of small molecules containing the nitride anion. Bond type can be characterized by studying the systematics of parameters derived from the bond critical point properties of the electron density distributions. A set of criteria is established to suggest how covalent or ionic a bond is. This criteria is based on bond critical point properties such as the Laplacian of the electron density distribution evaluated at the bond critical point, the electron density distribution at the critical point, the local energy density at the critical point, the relative electronegativity of the cation, the curvatures of the electron density distribution, and the distance from the nucleus of the nitride anion to the bond critical point, (the bonded radius of the nitrogen atom). Parameters computed for promolecule data indicate that these easily obtained results offer a method of calculating bond critical properties which are close in value to the more extensive results derived from molecular orbital calculations.

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